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From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Railway in Sri Lanka was Classic topics

Date: 19 Jul 1999 06:49:18 -0500


Gang !

I have just got a copy of Royston's 'Sri Lanka by rail' book. I have
got
through just a few pages. The railways in SL seem to be a small affair.
Maybe
the combined length of Marshaling yard lines in Mughal Sarai and Barauni
would
be more than the entire SLR (joking of course). But the SLR is of
beautiful,
with lots of grace and of course Royston's patient observations which
see
everything in a humorous light. Will get back to you more once I read
the book
further.
The book lacks any railway pictures.
BTW the driver who gave the first serious joyride on a WDM 2 is also
called
Royston.

Apurva

Royston Ellis wrote:

> Hi Gang:
>
> A word of appreciation for the recent e-mails: classics indeed. I hope
we
> hear more about Andrea Marini's grandfather; he seems to have done so
much
> to build Indian Railways! I wonder what the British thought of that?

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: TVC Rajdhani !

Date: 19 Jul 1999 06:52:39 -0500


>
> The day VAsai gets all major trains to KR stopping and the Mumbai
div
> gets AC power supply I am sure that there will be a major electric
shed
> at VAsai and even Diesel shed.

There was a recent media announcement about the doubling work of the
Vasai -
Dombivali line, so there are some heavy plans for this line coming up.
We did
see evidence of doubling in progress at the Vasai end of the BSR in Jan
when
we were off to Wankaner.

Apurva

From: Apurva Bahadur <>

Subject: Re: WCAG1 at Mumbai (?)

Date: 19 Jul 1999 06:55:17 -0500


> I hated it in
> the beginning when it replaced the graceful WCM1, but after
> some time the brute, no-nonsense appearance of the WCAM3
> begins to take on a character of its own.

I love the steady whine from the midsection. I also like the raised cabs
and
the sunken body between them. The blue and cream lovery with broad
cheverons
looks better than the orange and yellow IMHO.

Apurva

From: Samit Roychoudhury <>

Subject: Fw: Jokes.

Date: 19 Jul 1999 07:26:33 -0500


i think the joke was originally in the indian context and someone gave
it
the internationsl touch to make it all the more "believable"


> "VIRAF P.. MULLA" wrote:
>
> > "Train Travel in Europe"
>
> Hi everybody !
>
> I checked with the Deutsche Bahn page and came to know that there are
no
> connections from Paris to Frankfurt via Mannheim which stop at
Mannheim
late in
> the night (presuming of course that the passenger who was supposed to
be
woken up
> by the TC was about to fall asleep in the night). The two connections
which have
> stoppage at Mannheim after 2300 hrs have reasons which would not have
prompted
> the travel (or for that matter the joke itself) :
>
> 1. The changeover at Mannheim takes place around 2300 hrs and the
same
train
> does not go to Frankfurt at all. Therefore the joke does not stand !!
>
> 2. A prolonged stopover of around 4 hrs. (between 0100 hrs and 0500
hrs) +
a slow
> connection (not by the fast EC, IC or THALYS trains). That is, one had
to
change
> trains to Frankfurt at Mannheim, meaning : the train was again not
going
to
> Frankfurt.
>
> As far as the joke itself is concerned, its okay (and heard before),
perhaps it
> must have happened in the distant past .............................
>
> This mail is just for the records though ....................
>
> Prateep Chatterjee
>
>
>
>

From: Dr. Shirish Yande <>

Subject: Preventable accidents?

Date: 19 Jul 1999 11:52:35 -0500


Dear Folks,

I indeed appreciate Poras's sentiments about the accidents. Certainly a
housewife in our country can hold a state for ransom. But that's the
democracy we accepted, haven't we?

Coming to the accidents like the one to GT express at Mathura, here is a
possible explanation.

In our country the block sections are very large 4 to 8 kms in length.
The cabinmen have no control over what happens on the long intermediate
sections. The only personnel who can control the "fouled" line are the
crew on the train which is involved in the accident. The cabin staff or
the ASM's would not even know about the incident.

Surely the driver and the guard have clear instructions to protect the
fouled line at once. This is done very simply by deploying three
detonators at 100 metres each. provided they have time. The rule of
detonators is actually stretched to any train which stops out of blue in
the middle of nowhere. I wonder how many members follow this rule.

You would now know why the signalling system in India is called
"Foolproof" but not "Idiotproof".

Dr. Shirish Yande

From: Vdate <>

Subject: Re: Preventable accidents?

Date: 19 Jul 1999 12:57:16 -0500


yandesh wrote "in n our country the block sections are very large 4 to 8
kms
in length."

The blocks may be large but do they still function the way I think they
do?
I thought that a train enters a block only when the signal controlling
the
entry is green and as soon as the train has entered that block, the
signal
turns red. Then when the train passes to the next block the signal
turns
yellow and it is only when the train passes yet another block that the
signal
would turn to green.

My questions are,(1) is my thinking correct and (2) what is the
permitted
maximum speed under yellow. Finally if a superfast is running at
100kmph, and
the average length of block is 10 kms then the separation in the optimal

condition will have to be a minimum of 20 km or 12 minutes if the train
has
to run in continuos green. Are these conditions obtainable?

From: S Pai <>

Subject: Re: Preventable accidents?

Date: 19 Jul 1999 19:03:59 -0500



> The cabin staff or the ASM's would not even know about the incident.

Something I always wondered about was why IR was so sluggish in taking
up
the use of radio for station-crew communications. The technology is
decades old, proven and reliable, and not all that expensive (especially
when compared to the cost of having accidents instead...). We're not
talking fancy satellite phones or anything, just a mobile transceiver
set.
BEL used to make many of these for the defence forces way back in the
'50s
and '60s. Any number of other companies in India could also have
provided
the railways with good radio sets. Being a government organization they
could also, if they wanted, grab any part of the radio spectrum they
chose
to.

I hear they're now using walkie-talkies in limited situations. Why the
reluctance, I wonder. Why not just use them everywhere? I wonder what
kind of cost-benefit analysis they use in deciding this. I can't even
count the number of times I have heard this story of "they're supposed
to
set detonators for the fouled track, but apparently they didn't". One
wonders whether any crew have been issued detonators at all since the
British left (as I understand this rule dates from before Independence).

The railways ought to consider giving a private company the right to
install and provide cellular phone service along the railway routes all
over the country. The company would reap plenty of revenues from
cell-phone users on the trains, and the railways could keep a few
channels
for their own operational communications.

--Satish

From: S Pai <>

Subject: Re: Preventable accidents?

Date: 19 Jul 1999 19:16:59 -0500



> The blocks may be large but do they still function the way I think
they
> do? I thought that a train enters a block only when the signal
> controlling the entry is green and as soon as the train has entered
that
> block, the signal turns red. Then when the train passes to the next
> block the signal turns yellow and it is only when the train passes yet
> another block that the signal would turn to green.

Essentially correct, with some differences for automatic versus manual
signals. (See the FAQ entry on signalling, and more knowledgeable folks
please let me know if anything there is incorrect.) There may also be
some exceptions for suburban services.

The point where detonators or other such mechanisms become necessary are
if
the adjacent tracks also get fouled due to derailment or some such. The
signals for the adjacent tracks may be green even though the block that
the
train involved with the accident has a red signal according to the
mechanism you outlined above.

> My questions are,(1) is my thinking correct and (2) what is the
permitted
> maximum speed under yellow. Finally if a superfast is running at
100kmph,
> and the average length of block is 10 kms then the separation in the
> optimal condition will have to be a minimum of 20 km or 12 minutes if
the
> train has to run in continuos green. Are these conditions obtainable?

If the trains run at well-regulated speeds, and you give up the
intermediate "yellow" signal, you could bring down the headway to just
over
6 minutes between trains, so that a constant separation of just greater
than 10km is always maintained; the excess over 10km would be the
distance
needed to brake safely from the cruising speed. So perhaps on the order
of
13km or so? Clearly this requires very precise control of the speed and
preferably instantaneous reporting of the position of each train. Some
train systems attempt to do this kind of thing by computer control of
train
motions, mostly high-density suburban systems where the headway has to
be
as low as possible.

With high-speed sections problems also show up in things like the block
length being too small (signals meant for non-express trains whiz past
without giving enough time for the crew to react). The best solution is
in-cab signalling and automatic train control, and separate tracks for
the expresses.

--Satish

From: S Pai <>

Subject: Argentinian 5'6" gauge

Date: 19 Jul 1999 20:37:32 -0500



Is it true that the Argentinian 5'6" gauge was a result of a mistaken
shipment of locomotives and rolling stock intended for India to
Argentina?
The story goes that the shipment was first commandeered for use in the
Crimean War, and later sent to Argentina because of clerical error after
the war. Sounds like an urban legend :-) but stranger things have
happened. The story begs for clarification -- were there no railways
in Argentina before the misrouting? Was it easier to lay new lines to
accommodate the locos and stock rather than to regauge them to whatever
had been planned earlier? Was it not worthwhile to re-ship everything
to
India? Is there any shred of truth to this story?

--Satish

From: S Pai <>

Subject: Portuguese tilting train, Kazakhstan - Turkey train

Date: 19 Jul 1999 21:07:08 -0500



A couple of things not related to IR, but possibly of interest here.

1] Check out the pictures of the "Alfa Pendular" tilting train now in
operation in Portugal. It runs at 220km/h.

Main web site:

<A HREF="http://www.cp.pt">http://www.cp.pt</A>

Alfa Pendular:

<A HREF="http://www.cp.pt/servicos/alfa_ic/p_alfa-pendular.html">http://www.cp.pt/servicos/alfa_ic/p_alfa-pendular.html</A>

and from here click around to the different links. There's a picture
of
the view from inside the cab too.

2] A news item on a new service connecting Kazakhstan and Istanbul,
jointly
undertaken by Turkey, Iran, and the ex-Soviet republics of central
Asia.

New Passenger Train Service to Open in 2001

[excerpt] Beginning in January 2001, Kazakhstani travelers will be
able
to ride a passenger train to Istanbul, Turkey. [...] Stops along
the
scenic rail route will include Tashkent, Tehran, and Istanbul. The
route will be 6,000 km long, will take one week to travel from end
to
end, and will cost approximately USD 1,000. [...]

The article did not say where the route would start -- presumably
from
Alma Ata, in which case it most likely goes through Kyrgyzstan as
well
although no stop in that country was listed. The route also has to go
through Turkmenistan, making it a 6-country service. Given the fairly
steep price for the entire journey, I suppose most passengers
wouldn't
be going end-to-end on this; perhaps most of the revenue is expected
to
be from freight and short-haul passengers.

--Satish

From: S Pai <>

Subject: rail in the Nicobars?

Date: 19 Jul 1999 21:11:21 -0500



Are there, or were there ever, any railways in the Andaman and Nicobar
islands? Industrial / port railways, perhaps? I rather doubt there
ever
were passenger services -- we'd have sure candidates for the
southernmost
stations in the country.

--Satish

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: suggestion

Date: 19 Jul 1999 21:28:21 -0500


Anurag Acharya wrote:
> I would suggest keeping such info off the web. To preserve what
> limited privacy people have left these days :)

I second that: it is better to restrict one's personal
info only to this group, which is now composed of respectable
railroad enthusiast friends. To put it up on a website could
expose all of us to spamming from outside.
--
JS
--

From: poras p.saklatwalla <>

Subject: MUMBAI - PUNE SINGHAD EXPRESS

Date: 19 Jul 1999 23:41:12 -0500


Hi Gang,
Yesterday early afternoon the above train was spotted with a WCAM 3 and
a
WDM 2A PUNE SHED coupled along with it. Apu can u throw some light as to
what had happened. I spotted the train at 3.35 at Vikhroli.

Also can someone inform me whether GT express is fast or T.N. is fast.
The
GT is also a 2xxx series train. How does one train differ from the
other,
and which is the older one ? Has T.N ever been involved in an accident.


Yesterdays Indian Express stated that due to the monsoon the KR has been
disrupted massively. The Matsya gandha express was completely empty
when
it arrived at 5.25 pm at Ghatkopar stn. Believe me folks not a single
passenger on the entire train. I do not know if there were passengers
in
2AC compartment or 3AC.
Wonder how economical the running of an empty train is ? IR after
all!!!

PORAS P.SAKLATWALLA
TEL :5773535/3636
EXT :4226/4232/4237

From: Dheeraj Sanghi <>

Subject: Re: Preventable accidents?

Date: 20 Jul 1999 00:17:04 -0500



> Surely the driver and the guard have clear instructions to protect the
> fouled line at once. This is done very simply by deploying three
> detonators at 100 metres each. provided they have time. The rule of
> detonators is actually stretched to any train which stops out of blue
in
> the middle of nowhere. I wonder how many members follow this rule.
>
> You would now know why the signalling system in India is called
> "Foolproof" but not "Idiotproof".


I think the keywords here are: "Provided they have time".
As someone has already pointed out, most of the trunk
routes are seriously congested, and there is a train every
10 minutes. Whenever a train derails and wagons fall on the
neighbouring line, it will take more than 10 minutes for
the guard to walk the entire length of the train, find out
exactly what has happened, and then set up the detonators.

So it is clear that a system that depends on the guard
setting up detonators is not even "foolproof". Infact,
it guarantees an accident. So the system has to be either
some automatic mechanism to find out that something has
fallen on the track, or the guard informing the controller
that there is some problem, and in such cases, even before
the guard can walk the entire length of the train to figure
out the exact damage, the controller should take action
such as turning the signal red, and if there is a train in
the section already, switch off the overhead power supply.

-dheeraj
--------------
Dr. Dheeraj Sanghi (0512) 59-7077/7638
(Off)
Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering (0512) 59-8627 (Res)
Indian Institute of Technology (0512) 59-0725/0413
(Fax)
Kanpur - 208 016 (UP), INDIA. dheeraj@iitk.email
Home Page: <A HREF="http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj">http://www.cse.iitk.ac.in/users/dheeraj</A>

From: Dr. K.J. Walker <>

Subject: Re: Old DHR Livery

Date: 20 Jul 1999 00:50:22 -0500


Dear Jayant,
There seems to be a double-barrelled answer to your question.
Firstly,
that certainly does look like a tinted postcard -- probably from one of
those shops opposite the Club in Darjeeling!
But, secondly, I understand that the DHR locos and stock were
painted in "standard" IR red-brown fairly soon after the railway was
nationalised. Loco Profile 23 ("Darjeeling Tanks") says (p.261):
" In the old D.H.R. period the engines were painted green ....
Lining
was a broad black band flanked by thin red lines, and this appeared on
cab
sides, coal panels and saddle tanks, but not on the cylinders. ....
During
world war II and just after the engines were painted black; and in the
six
years 1952-57 when the D.H. line was part of the the North Eastern
Railway
the engines were painted terra-cotta brick red wihout lining. This
lasted
until about 1965."
It seems the blue livery was the NFR's idea, and a very good
one!
Cheers
Ken Walker

-----Original Message-----
From: Jayant S <sank@telco.email
To: IR List <irfca@cs.email
Date: 18 July 1999 5:00
Subject: Old DHR Livery


><A HREF="http://www.orbonline.net/~auballan/trainsm.htm">http://www.orbonline.net/~auballan/trainsm.htm</A>
>
>Was the standard IR Maroon livery ever used on
>the DHR ? Or is this a tinted photo ?
>
>-JS-
>

From: Dr. K.J. Walker <>

Subject: Re: Accident..

Date: 20 Jul 1999 01:43:24 -0500


Hi Viraf,
I may be able to help here, not from IR experience, but from my time
in
the USA. Over there, train crews regularly carry flares, though I think
detonators are less common -- they're British technology. The flares in
question, though, are not rocket flares, but a stationary type designed
to
be sat on the ballast and touched off so as to provide a bright, highly
visible danger signal. I guess the type of flare Harsh is talking about
is
similar, if not identical.
You still depend on the train crew and signalling personnnel to know
their safety drill and carry it out properly, though. And no flare seems
to
be a defence against stupid truck drivers trying to cross when they
shouldn't -- you no doubt saw there was another Amtrak accident of that
type
last week. At least THAT truck driver won't be doing it again . . .
Cheers
Ken Walker

-----Original Message-----
From: VIRAF P.. MULLA <sncf@godrej.email
To: hvc <hvc@vsnl.email
Cc: irfca@cs.email <irfca@cs.email
Date: 19 July 1999 2:20
Subject: Re: Accident..


>
>> The driver and guard are supposed to carry colour rocket flares for
warning
>> but more often than not, these are missing from the kit.
>
>Hi Harsh,
>
>COLOUR ROCKET FLARES? - well this is news to me. Are you all guys aware
of
>this? I know of detonators but colour rocket flares?
>
>regards
>
>Viraf
>
>

From: raymond/Polaris <>

Subject: Re: MUMBAI - PUNE SINGHAD EXPRESS and GT EXPRESS

Date: 20 Jul 1999 01:50:13 -0500




Hi Gang,

I'm one of the new entrants to the list, so I thought I must add my two
bits in.

First on the WDM 2A behind the WCAM 3 on the Sinhagad Exp. Poras, was
the WDM 2A
running, if you did notice by any chance. Else, it was just being
transported
back to Pune. Of course, all trains require a push up the Ghats from
Karjat to
Lonavala, but then these pushers are either WDM 2's or those "screaming"
goods
engines (WCG's ?) in pairs.

GT is 2615/2616 and the TN is 2621/2622. GT is older (the train not the
rake).
The Frontier, GT and Kalka mail are about the oldest trains on IR, all
starting
well before Independence. GT is slower than the TN by around 3 hours on
the
Chennai - New Delhi trip. However the rakes are identical and are
numbered
2615/2622 and 2616/2621.

I do not remember any previous accident to the GT. However the TN had a
bad
smash near Warangal sometime in the late seventies when a coupling
snapped. This
was when it was changed from a 13 coach rake to the 21 coach rake with
double
heading. There were around 40 fatalities then. There was also a lot of
hulla-balloo about using normal couplings on a 21 coach rake.

There is really no safeguard against a train derailing and then tumbling
onto
the adjacent tracks (unless we insist on a 75 foot clearance between the
two
lines). There was really no time in the case of the Frontier or GT
crashes. The
reason why fatalities were lower in the GT crash was : only one of the
trains
was a passenger train, the Mathura - Delhi stretch is really flat and
straight-
night visibility is over 1 km, and finally the GT has air brakes while
the
Sealdah Express still uses vacuum brakes. I remember a book I read about
10
years ago which talked of just such a scenario - fiction, of course.
This
involved a goods wagon breaking its coupling just as the express was
going past
- I forget the name of the book, just remember the name of the express
driver -
Denning.

Like to see some reactions, if you guys have the time (or the
inclination).

Regards

Raymond Arogyaswamy

From: raymond/Polaris <>

Subject: Re: G.t and T.n

Date: 20 Jul 1999 01:56:48 -0500




Dear Anand,

TN used to start from Madras (then!!) Central at 7.10 a.m. and reach New
Delhi
at 12.50 p.m., on the return trip the timings were New Delhi dep. at
7.00 a.m.,
and arrival Madras Central at 12.35 p.m. It was a 13 coach rake hauled
by a
single WDM 2 straight through. This was the first train on the Madras -
New
Delhi trip to bypass the "direction changes" at Wardha and Kazipet. The
TN had
TV sets in the A/c chair cars (they did not have A/c sleepers back
then), and
wired communication between the driver and the guard. These sets were
detached
from the locos after they arrived at the destination. But then, GT is
still my
all time favourite train.

Raymond Arogyaswamy

From: Marcelo Benoit <>

Subject: Re: Argentinian 5'6" gauge

Date: 20 Jul 1999 02:41:55 -0500


>Is it true that the Argentinian 5'6" gauge was a result of a mistaken
>shipment of locomotives and rolling stock intended for India to
Argentina?
>The story goes that the shipment was first commandeered for use in the
>Crimean War, and later sent to Argentina because of clerical error
after
>the war. Sounds like an urban legend :-) but stranger things have
>happened. The story begs for clarification -- were there no railways
>in Argentina before the misrouting? Was it easier to lay new lines to
>accommodate the locos and stock rather than to regauge them to whatever
>had been planned earlier? Was it not worthwhile to re-ship everything
to
>India? Is there any shred of truth to this story?

The first Argentinian locomotives ("La Argentina" and "La Porteña") were
bought second hand from the Crimea war. The book "Historia de los
ferrocarriles argentinos" by Raul Scalabrini Ortiz said that the loco
was
built originally for India. With these two locomotives the "Ferrocarril
del
Oeste" started their services between Buenos Aires and Flores (10 km,
now a
district of the city) on August 29th, 1857. This was the first railway
in
Argentina. For a photo of "La Porteña", look at
<A HREF="http://www.steam.demon.co.uk/trains/argpre.htm">http://www.steam.demon.co.uk/trains/argpre.htm</A>
It is preserved at Lujan museum near Buenos Aires.

The interesting thing about Argentinian Railways is that after a hugh
network of metre gauge lines was developed and also a standard gauge
medium
size network (now it connects with Paraguay and Uruguay -where I live).

Regards,

Marcelo

ESTACION CENTRAL TERMINAL DE TRENES
<A HREF="http://members.tripod.com/lfu1/index-9.html">http://members.tripod.com/lfu1/index-9.html</A>

From: Jayant S <>

Subject: Re: Old DHR Livery

Date: 20 Jul 1999 04:19:39 -0500


"Dr. K.J. Walker" wrote:

> It seems the blue livery was the NFR's idea, and a very good one!

Of course. Who can forget the old blue MG rake for the AT Mail ?


--
JS
--

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